October 12, 2015 |
BOBBY HILL, 14, the boy soprano who sang Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu" for Pope Francis on the parkway, is one of 600 children who find their voices in Commonwealth Youthchoirs, housed in the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown. Many of the boys and girls, grades pre-K through 12, come from underserved Philadelphia public schools, where music programs were early casualties of threadbare budgets. But in Commonwealth Youthchoirs' four programs, they learn to sing as joyfully as Bobby did when he charmed the pope and millions watching in person and on TV. Steve Fisher, choir director of the Keystone State Boychoir, where Bobby sings, said he almost panicked at the papal concert - not because of Bobby, who nailed his solo, but because of the rock Bobby gave the pope afterward.
February 2, 2015 |
It had been at the top of my bucket list for several years, so when circumstances made it possible for me to travel in the winter of 2014, I quickly booked my trip the preceding spring. Who could have predicted that such a brutal winter lay ahead? With one crippling winter storm after another, the obvious question posed by friends after learning of my upcoming vacation was where I was headed. More than a few brows were raised when I meekly replied, "Antarctica. " After coping with the relentless weather and five days without power in February, even I began to question the wisdom of my choice.
November 29, 2014 |
Antarctica: A Year on Ice isn't a nature documentary, though it does contain some wonderful panoramic time-lapse footage of the frozen continent. This labor of love from Anthony Powell (producer, director, writer, cinematographer) is more of a work diary, tracing the extreme ebbs and flows of staff living and toiling at McMurdo Station, Antarctica's largest research facility, over the course of a year. During the summer, which begins in October, upward of 5,000 people fly into the polar region to staff the roughly 30 international outposts.
September 12, 2014 |
On Saturday, Tara Toocheck hurried to log onto Skype and talk to her son, Nikolas, halfway around the world. "Mommy, I feel so great. I feel fresh," the boy, 11, told his mother back in Pocopson Township, Chester County. "Now, I want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. " An hour earlier, Nikolas had crossed the finish line of a 26.2-mile race in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains in the Republic of Georgia. Nikolas isn't old enough to join the cross-country team at his school. But when the preteen finished the Kazbegi Marathon, he accomplished in less than two years a feat most people don't in a lifetime: He had run a marathon on every continent.
May 14, 2013 |
YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET what you want, but WMGK's John DeBella thinks he knows what the Philadelphia Boys Choir needs. The mustachioed morning-radio host thinks the Rolling Stones should invite the Philadelphia Boys Choir onstage when they play the Wells Fargo Center on June 18 and 21. (Tickets are still available for the "50 and Counting" tour at ComcastTIX.com.) The Philadelphia Boys Choir is "an untapped gem in this city. It's crazy we have this world-class choir that people don't know exists," DeBella told me, adding he ran it by Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell when he visited his show.
May 7, 2013 |
In the 1970s, when he was in his 40s, Jack Rosenberg decided to give up swimming and start running every day. The kind of man who "never did anything in a mediocre fashion," in the words of his daughter, Anne, the surgeon ran eight miles each morning along Route 130 from his Mount Laurel home to his office, at what was then Rancocas Valley Hospital in Willingboro. Each morning his wife, Sylvia, to whom he was married for 57 years, would be waiting at his office with his suit.
March 22, 2013
LONDON - George Lowe, the last surviving climber from the team that made the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, has died. He was 89. He died Wednesday at a nursing home in Ripley, central England, after an illness. Lowe directed a film of the expedition, "The Conquest of Everest," and also made "The Crossing of Antarctica," a movie about a trans-Antarctic expedition later in the 1950s. - Associated Press
March 22, 2013 |
You may be an Anglophile or a Francophile, or simply interested in news and views from around the world. Smartphone applications put international radio at your fingertips. TuneIn Radio , free from TuneIn Inc., comes in versions for devices of all kinds. Hear thousands of stations and millions of podcasts, from every continent, including the Web-station outpost playing folk music the other evening from windswept Snow Hill Island, Antarctica. Pick your stations on TuneIn by geography, format, or genre.
February 26, 2013 |
When Tara Toocheck was pregnant with her son, Nik, she knew he would be active and energetic. Unlike his older sister, Thea, who was quiet and serene, Nik seemed to regard his mother's womb as a confining rumpus room. Her expectations were correct. Nik, now 9, has proven to be the very definition of hyperkinetic. Full of boyish glee, he plays football, baseball, ice hockey, and squash. He has also become a prodigious runner. In kindergarten, at age 6, he ran his first 5K. When his father, Dan, joined the Air Force Reserve and began training for the fitness test, Nik kept pace with him. In 2010, Nik ran the Downingtown Turkey Trot 5K. He finished fourth in his age category, just missing the chance to win a holiday pie. The following year, he finished first among runners under 12. His trophy: an apple pie. In three years, Nik has participated in more than 100 races, ranging from a quarter mile to a marathon - he ran his first in November in Lewes, Del., covering the 26.2 miles in 5 hours, 56 minutes.
February 19, 2013 |
PENGUINS DON'T RUN fast. Or so Nik Toocheck has heard. The 9-year-old West Chester boy will see for himself this weekend when he arrives in King George Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula, where he'll run his second full-distance marathon amid the glaciers, icebergs and wildlife of the South Pole in the first White Continent Marathon. Next Monday's race is the second step in Nik's mission to run marathons on seven continents. He would be the youngest person to accomplish that feat and, based on available data, the youngest person to run a marathon in Antarctica.